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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Emmanuel United Methodist Church Jesus Christ Superstar

By • May 15th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Jesus Christ Superstar, performed by Emmanuel United Methodist Church [MP3 4:42 2.2MB].

Jesus Christ Superstar
Emmanuel United Methodist Church
Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Laurel, MD
$15/$10 Children
Through May 17th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio Review of Jesus Christ Superstar, performed by the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, in Laurel, Maryland. We saw the Pay What You Can Preview performance on Wednesday, May 14, 2008.

Mike: Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It highlights the political and interpersonal struggles of Judas Iscariot and Jesus. The actions largely follows the actions of the gospel accounts of the last weeks of Jesus’ life, beginning with Jesus and his followers arriving in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. A large part of the plot focuses on the character of Judas who is depicted as conflicted tragic figure who is not satisfied with what he views as Jesus’ lack of planning and alarmed by the relatively recent claims of his divinity.

Laura: Overall I enjoyed this show. There was a wide range of acting talent on the stage as well as choreography. Some of the actors I think this was their first time in front of the audience as they were a little hesitant. I think they all warmed up eventually and I enjoyed this show.

Mike: Some of the performers were really, really good and others were having a good time. But that’s OK. This was a fundraiser for the church’s youth group mission trip this summer. I think they did work hard on it, but I also think there was a wide range of talent in the show.

Laura: The role of Jesus of Nazareth was played by Matt Nance. He was maybe a little bit flat. Although the scene he had with King Herod, he had a put off look about him the entire time. I thought this was good. He did have a nice voice and could hit those high notes.

Mike: I thought Nance’s Jesus was a little too aloof. It seemed like he just didn’t get too involved in the scenes. Most of the time it seemed he was just standing in the middle of the stage letting everything happen around him. He seemed perturbed that all this stuff was happening around him. It really didn’t strike a chord with me.

Judas Iscariot played by Jim Gerhardt did a great job as Judas. He was involved with everybody and very active, moving everywhere on stage. He wasn’t afraid to touch people. He got right up into Jesus’ face when he was accusing him of things. I think Gerherdt gave a very strong performance as Judas Iscariot.

Laura: Mary Magdalene was played by Laura Dennis. She had a very nice strong voice. Maybe not the best acting job in the world, but she had a good strong voice. You could kind of see some tenderness when she was singing to Jesus.

Mike: I think she had some formal singing training. For example when she started sing ‘Can We Start Again, Please’ she stood down stage off to one side and just stood there and sang the song. There was no other emotion from the song, no activity happening. So while her singing was very good, the acting part of it and the making it more interesting than just having a solo was not there. That was something that was missing from a lot of the performers.

Laura: There were also some sound issues with this performance of the show. The mics were not always turned on on cue and the orchestra was playing right next to the sound on stage so some of the group songs I couldn’t hear what people were singing.

Mike: The microphone problems were a significant problem last night. Hopefully that will get better. This was the first time they had an audience. some people were a little distracted by the audience. You could see them shooting looks into the audience. That is something that will get better with practice as they keep doing the show.

I also wanted to mention the choreography. The choreographer was Kristin Rigsby. It was a small stage and they were limited to what they could do on the stage. In the first act it seemed there was a lot of standing around. People had upper body movements, but they were basically standing there. In the second act, you had a smaller group on stage dancing, such as the Soul Girls Dancers. Those were OK, although still a little hesitant. There were a couple dancers that were really good. There were a couple dancers who were watching the feet and arms of the other players to see what they should be doing. It was a little distracting. The audience seemed to enjoy it. It was family and friends being a preview performance.

Laura: Jesus Christ Superstar is ran about two hours with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday May 17th. Thursday Friday and Saturday at 8 pm at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Laurel, Maryland.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

Cast:

  • Jesus of Nazareth: Matt Nance
  • Judas Iscariot: Jim Gerhardt
  • Mary Magdalene: Laura Dennis
  • Caiaphas: Andy Baldwin
  • Annas: Willie Foy
  • Priest: Heather Foy
  • Pontius Pilot: Danny Romeo
  • Simon Zealots: Steven Lutz
  • Peter: Christopher Wilson
  • Herod: Ken Krintz
  • Apostles: Crista Campbell, Danice Doherty, Megan Doherty, Stashia Goray, Sydney Smith, Kris Thompson, A. Baldwin, H. Foy, W. Foy
  • Guards: Taylor Buck, Brent Mayberry
  • Dancer: Maddie Zins
  • Herod Dancers: C. Campbell, J. Doherty, H. Foy,, S, Smith, M. Zins
  • Superstar soul Girl Dancers: C. Campbell, L. Dennis, J. Doherty, H. Foy, S. Smith, M. Zins
  • Superstar Soul Girl Singers: M. Doherty, S. Goray
  • Chorus, Lepers, Mob: Ensemble members
  • Hosanna Children: Juliana Belt, Tim & Jan Kramer, Connor Lehner, Josi MacDonald, Alex Nance

Musicians

  • Drums: Bob Liddle
  • Bass: Mike Doherty
  • Guitar: Mike MacDonald
  • Guitar: Bruce Jacob
  • Keyboard: Joerg Kramer

Crew

  • Director: Ken Krintz
  • Musical Director: Mariano Vales
  • Vocal Coach: Janice Doherty
  • Band Director: Mike MacDonald
  • Choreographer: Kristin Rigsby
  • Producer: Maureen Rogers
  • Set Design: Matt Garnett
  • Set Construction: Matt Garnett, Holly Garnett, Rodger Schminke
  • Light/Sound Operator: Matt Garnett
  • Costumes: Marta Bradley, Alison Lutz, Ensemble
  • Props: Lora Magoon, Ann Thompson, Nadine Hines
  • Stage Crew: Austin Merson, Rodger Schminke
  • Tickets, Concessions: Lee DeLong, VIM Team
  • Program: Ken Krintz
  • Posters: Megan Doherty
  • Rehersal Pianist Accompanist: Dana Scott

This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2284.

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

2 Responses »

  1. You are criticizing actors in a play that is a church fundraiser for a mission trip?

    Come on! Give them a break!

  2. Well, if you voluntarily invite reviewers, then prepare to be critiqued…